What Must Be Done

The Financial Times, the strange colored newspaper you see at airports, is not known for its skepticism of modern global economics. Therefore, it was a bit of a shock to see the mouthpiece of global finance come out in favor of a radical rethinking of the economic order. They argued that all options must be on the table in order to address the tattered relationship between the people and their governments. In their words, the social contract must be restored after the virus panic ends.

The alleged sentiments behind the editorial are not wrong. The primary duty of any government is the welfare of the people. It’s why we have government. Sure, we assign it functions like protecting private property and enforcing contracts, but that’s not the reason we invented government. Similarly, the state defends the privileges of the rich at the expense of everyone else. This has been true since the dawn of man, but again, this is not why human societies have governments.

The point of government is the general welfare of the people. That means defending against attacks from abroad and attacks from within. The former is straight forward, but the latter is where things get complicated. Defending against internal threats is about a set of laws and customs for the purpose of maintaining order. The character and nature of the people will determine these internal structures. Good order in the lands of the Mohammedan is different than good order in the Orient.

This is not a concern in a world of nations and nation states. In a world of global capital and the free flow of goods and people across borders, it is nearly impossible. The state cannot enforce the customs of its people when its people change with each generation, maybe with each decade. When economics requires the people to yield their ancient customs and liberties, the point of government is no longer the welfare of the people, but as middle-man, facilitating conformity to economic necessity.

This is where the globalist on the Financial Times editorial board fail in their analysis of the current crisis. The social contract, if there is one, is not built around a set of economic policies. It is not a set of rules imposed by the keepers of the economy in order to make transactions as efficient as possible. The social contract is the invisible bonds between the people. It is this dedication to the shared welfare that necessitates the creation of the state in order to maintain those bonds.

Those invisible bonds are not the creation of the state, but the result of the mating decisions of our ancestors. The social contract between Finns is just the conceptualization of their shared history and ancestry. It is unique to them. What makes a Finn and Finn is not where he stands on the map or how he does business. What makes him a Finn is he is the fruit of the Finnish family tree. To be Finn means the ability to one day make more Finns. That’s biology, not economics.

The social contract can only exist among a people with a shared ancestry. If the goal is to restore the social contract, the first step is not a new round of economic fads, but a restoration of the ancient bonds among people. The West must first become a collection of nations again. Only in a world of nations can the governments of those nations preserve and defend the social contract. Safeguarding the welfare of the people can only happen when there is a people, rather than just people.

This is the fundamental flaw of the current order. Cosmopolitan globalism rests on the false notion of homo economicus. This is the assumption that humans are rational, self-interested, and pursue their subjectively-defined ends optimally. More important, it assumes that people are defined internally, rather than by the untold number of invisible bonds and interactions with their society. Globalism assumes man lives in a particular society, because it benefits in some way to do so.

Not only is this false, but homo economicus is in direct contradiction with the concept of a social contract. Socrates could not flee Athens and avoid death, because to do so would mean he was no longer Socrates. Who he was as a person was defined by his membership in the polis called Athens. The social contract cannot exist in a world of atomized individuals. The social contract can only exist in a world where people are defined by their membership in a society of their people.

The editors of the Financial Times are not wrong in their observations. The great inequity in the West is a not only disruptive, it is fundamentally immoral. The strange blend of casual indifference and despotic intolerance by the state, the anarcho-tyranny, is intolerable and will lead to conflict. The heavy-handed abuse of power by the surveillance state will lead to conflict. These are not root causes, however. They are symptoms of an ideology at odds with human nature.

That is, of course, the radical idea that must be on the table along with crackpot ideas like universal basic income. The restoration of nations with governments dedicated to maintaining the welfare of their people. This means the end of mass immigration and the repatriation of as many foreigners as practical. It means the end of global institutions that supersede national sovereignty. It means the embrace of the great diversity of man and the value of good strong borders between people.

Of course, this revolution in thinking will not come voluntarily. This fact is made plain in that Financial Times editorial. The reason the great defenders of cosmopolitan globalism suddenly sound like Marxist undergrads is they want to preserve the current order at all cost. If it means embracing nutty ideas like universal income, that’s fine, just as long as the class of international pirates can ride the oceans of global capital. If that’s what it takes to keep homo economicus going, so be it.

It is another reminder that any reform effort that begins with economics is a fraud, intended to delay real change from being discussed. Tinkering about the mechanism of global capitalism is always an effort to maintain global capitalism. That gets to the heart of what must be done. The first step in restoring the social contract is to accept that the people at the top are irredeemable. The Cloud People hate the Dirt People. It is what defines them. Real reform comes when the Dirt People hate them back.

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The End Of Gynocracy

A decade ago, the Cloud People celebrated the fact that for the first time in history, women were the majority of the workforce. Not only were women the majority of workers, they were the majority of managers. They were also the majority on the college campus. Women have been the majority of college graduates for over a decade and now outnumber men in advanced degrees. It is not unreasonable to say that we are now celebrating the first full decade of the gynocracy.

Of course, the celebrating is being done from inside closets and under beds, as the world hides from the virus. America is not just run by women; it is now run by overprotective schoolmarms. Social distancing is just the latest thing in a world now run by childless women. On-line, the harpies have been demanding males with the wrong ideas be social distanced right off the internet. The great purging of dissident voices from social media was a dry run for social distancing.

If you think about it, the timeout has now become the go-to move from the gynocrats in charge of our culture. If you use the wrong word or phrase on social media, you get put in timeout for 12-hours. If you repeat the error, you end up in detention. Since the gynocrats have replaced the parents, there’s no parent conference for those who can’t conform to the rules. Instead, you are relegated to the trailers out back, which for the internet means setting up an account on Gab or Telegram.

This is just one reality of the world run by women. Since women have come to dominate the workplace, the fastest growing parts of the economy are those where women have the dominant position. For example, while STEM jobs get outsourced to barbarians, either imported from tribal areas or through outsourcing, health care, which is dominated by women, has been booming. Tech workers have seen declining wages, but registered nurses have seen their wages grow.

Of course, the feminization of society has been hardest on the working classes, as the jobs for working class men are replaced by jobs for women. The rise in death from despondency has been acute among working class males. A man with no way to support a family, relegated to living off a woman, has no reason to live. Inevitably, drugs, alcohol and eventually suicide become the answer. The white death that has afflicted our people is not all that different than what happened to the Indians.

The middle-class males have not escaped the ravages of the gynocracy. We’re onto at least the second generation of middle-class males raised by women in a female dominated society. The process began with the liberalization of divorce, which spread through the middle-class like a plague in the 70’s and 80’s. By the 1990’s, the feminization of America life was well underway. We’re onto our second generation of young middle-class males raised to live in the gynocracy.

You see it in marriage and dating. With scrambled sex roles, the males are ill-equipped to play their role, so they are less marriage worthy to females. On the other hand, men instinctively suspect a career woman will be a poor mother and mate. The subsequent drop in marriage and fertility is hardly a surprise. For the young men in the gynocracy, life is a bachelor’s ball on-line, punctuated by mock battles in video games and mock intimacy in the form of pornography.

As an aside, this is why someone like Richard Spencer was so appealing to young men in the alt-right days. He is the non plus ultra of gynocritic male. He is reckless, feckless and irresponsible, but immune to the consequences. Mom is always there to make everything better. He is the perpetual adolescent, unable to care for himself, but always in rhetorical revolt against the gynocracy. As a result, many young middle-class white males saw him as the ultimate expression of themselves.

For young women, the gynocracy offers a short-term elixir of a career, independence and power over her personal life. By middle-age, the elixir wears off and it means a lifetime of lonely nights being an on-line harpy or one-night stand. Many women escape the clutches of feminism to marry and have children, but in the gynocracy, it still means a career, because they have to support the husband and family. They get to pay the price for upper middle-class women feeling empowered.

Of course, feminism has been hard hit by the rise of the gynocracy. The purpose of feminism for close to a century was to give homely women a reason to feel good about themselves. In a world where women are made hideous on the inside by the pointlessness of their existence, but given power over society, feminism has had to find a new audience. In the gynocracy, feminism is now the domain for those born insane, rather than those driven mad by the prevailing reality.

That may be the light at the end of the tunnel. Increasingly, women are seeing the disaster that is modern life for what it is. The slow flowering of traditional women living life as traditional wives and mothers is a little green shoot. Despite the bellowing from the media, Trump remains quite popular with married women. The contempt in which these women are held by the gynocrats suggests this is the Achilles heel. The end of the gynocracy is single women seeing a mom playing with her kids.

On the other hand, Aristophanes was surely right. Practical reality will break the gynocracy on the wheel of reality. The great lock-down is madness that will eventually force great changes. This hysterical response to the virus will force a lot of rethinking about practical matters, like the habit of outsourcing manufacturing to China and the outsourcing of child rearing to the state. This is what we may be witnessing in this great panic over the virus. it is the beginning of the end of the gynocracy.

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Man’s Greatest Invention

The great British biologist J.B.S Haldane said that fanaticism was one of mankind’s greatest inventions. By “fanaticism” he meant the burning desire to save mankind from some imagined evil. The fanatic is not just trying to help his fellow man. He feels as if it is his purpose, his reason to exists. Therefore, he will die in his effort to reach his goal, as to give up on his quest or accept defeat would be no different than denying the reason for his existence. To die trying fulfills his purpose.

Haldane credited this to monotheism. If there is one god, then no people could be favored by one god over another. All men were the creation of one god and therefore of equal importance. This leads to the great battle to decide who has the correct understanding of God’s desire for mankind. The only way to know this is to do whatever is necessary in order to bring your understanding of god’s will into being. Fanaticism therefore was the great molder of human history for the last 5,000 years.

Of course, Haldane was a fanatic himself. He was a foaming at the mouth atheist, as they tend to be, so blaming the belief in God, especially Christianity, was a natural instinct for him. A central tenet of atheism is that if man drops the superstition about invisible men in the sky, they will stop trying to impose their beliefs on one another and thus a new post-God era can begin. Mankind will be driven by reason and the underlying facts of natural reality. Logic will be the religion of man.

This is nonsense, of course, but Haldane was not wrong about fanaticism. It is a great mover of history. Where he got things wrong was in thinking monotheism was the root of human desire to save mankind. Instead it was egalitarianism, the idea that all men are naturally equal and therefore naturally worthy. This did not require the belief in one god, as we see today with our humanistic fanatics. The modern intellectual is as indifferent to God as he is committed to belief that all men are equal.

An example of this comes from the legacy site National Review. This piece argues that the coronavirus is the great leveler. Mother nature is reminding the world that all men are equal in her eyes. Because, in theory, rich people can get the virus and die, it proves the fundamental equality of mankind. Time will tell on that score, but most likely the smart and rich will do better in this than the poor and stupid. That’s because Mother Nature does not distribute her gifts equally.

Of course, if this virus turns out to be the scourge of the poor or the great killer of the stupid, the egalitarians will have an answer for that as well. As the author of the piece says, it will be due to the rich and smart taking precautions to insulate themselves from the virus. For the egalitarian fanatic, there is always some behavioral reason to explain why one group does better than another. The equality of man is the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega, of their thinking.

A great driver of history is the belief that if only everyone would do things the way they should do them, then the human condition can be overcome. It is not the only driver, for sure, as not everyone has bought into egalitarianism. In fact, egalitarianism was, for the longest time, an exclusive belief. The tribe, nation or people knew they were equal before god, but those other people, well, not so much. Conquering them and taking their stuff was fine, as it was good for your people.

In recent years, this thirst for universal equality has turned into a weird cargo cult, where simply making people appear equal will cause universal equality to spring forth. You see a bit of that in the National Review post. The author seems to be hoping the virus is a great plague that hits the elites as hard as everyone. In the midst of the suffering, so the thinking goes, everyone will suddenly embrace the equality of man. Only a fanatic can believe that he not so subtly hopes for a plague.

In fact, disaster, man-made or natural, is proof that egalitarianism is rooted in our biology, or at least in the biology of some. The great destruction of man’s creation, the bodies stacked upon one another, a scene seen in every age by every generation, has not purged this instinct from our being. There’s no reasoning with a fanatic and there is not reasoning with an egalitarian. They are immune to reality. They see only that which confirms their belief that all men are created equal.

It is why, by the way, Africa is getting a good leaving alone in the pandemic chatter. They were all revved up a month ago to display their sorrow for the poor Africans, who would surely suffer the worst from this virus. This has not happened, so the egalitarians are busy editing on-line maps to remove the whole continent from our vision. Any discussion of why some groups have done better or worse is prohibited, even by the human bio-diversity crowd. Egalitarianism is powerful magic.

It is a good reminder that whatever comes out of the other side of this pandemic, the egalitarian will still be with us. No amount of reality can dissuade him. If he can see a man in a sundress as just another one of the gals, not even the complete failure of the system built on the dream of equality will dissuade him. He will be right back at it, picking through the rubble for signs that all men are equal. Egalitarianism is man’s greatest invention, a doomsday device we cannot disarm.

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The Cost Of Profit

Every businessman understands that every dollar of revenue that comes in has with it a cost required to earn it. If the business provides a service, then the biggest cost of sales is the labor required to provide the service. If the business sells a physical item, then the cost of making or acquiring the item is the big driver. There are indirect costs like rents and administrative expenses, but the starting place for any business is the cost of sales, as that is what ultimately determines profits.

There is another cost that is important, sometimes the most important, that does not show up in the financials. That is the cost of profit. This is an intangible cost. What unpleasant things do you have to do in order to make a profit? Maybe you have to be terrible to your employees or tolerate nasty customers. You can make a nice living running a pawn shop, but most people don’t think it is worth having to deal with the sorts of people, who avail themselves of the pawn shop.

As a society, this concept is easier to quantify, or at the minimum articulate, as a society has a shared morality. There is an agreed upon set of things that a society wants to minimize and a set of things it promotes. It may be better for the economy to rely upon slave labor in certain kinds of agriculture, but the moral cost of slavery is too high to contemplate such a policy. One reason manufacturing was shipped abroad is the cost of the pollution and the aesthetics was too high for our rulers.

The point is that certain types of economic activity may be lucrative for the people in that business or for the economy as a whole, but the intangible cost is too high. It is not just the moral cost either. There is the cost of risk. To allow certain types of lending, for example, puts the credit system at risk, so we forbid it. The cost of profit can also be the long term risk it poses the society, which generally means the cost that will be imposed on future generations when those risks become real costs.

A good example is the very lucrative basis trade popular with hedge funds, where they buy US Treasuries, while selling equivalent derivatives contracts. There is a small difference in price between the two, but when done in volume and with cheap credit, the profit to the hedge fund can be enormous. This is great for the private investors in the hedge funds, but it has huge risks for the economy. The recent bailout by the Federal Reserve is a good example of socializing the cost of profit.

This is just one example of economic activity that is profitable to the people doing it and good for those GDP numbers. It’s also high risk and therefore has an unacceptable cost for the profit gained. Throughout the financial system we see high risk strategies that can be highly profitable and serve some important purpose, like lowering the cost of borrowing, but bring with them unacceptable risks to the system. Socializing the cost profit through bailouts does not make it go away.

Another example of how the cost of profit works in the financial system is this story from Reuters about Capital One. This is the bank that peddles high interest rate credit cards to poor people and non-whites. They can specialize in high risk borrowers, because they charge mafia-esque interest rates. That covers the cost of collecting from deadbeats and the inevitable defaults. It turns out another one of their activities was gambling in the commodities markets, namely the energy markets.

Now, the obvious question is why is a credit card company that preys on dumb people playing at the high stakes tables in the commodities casino? Betting commodities is like playing at the baccarat tables in Monte Carlo. Actually, the odds are better in the casino, as the odds of winning are just 1.23% lower than the odds of winning a hand. The answer, of course, is the potential profit for the bank was huge, just as long as energy process never fell below a certain level, like they have recently.

As American states lost the will to directly tax their people, especially their rich people, they turned to indirect ways to fund government. One is the legalization of gambling, especially state-owned casinos. Since every state is in the gambling racket, a new type of casino has evolved. This is one with a grand shopping mall and Potemkin town center attached, so people can dine and socialize. The idea is to get everyone under one roof in order to encourage more consumption.

This model is the symbol of modern America. Our economy is a massive shopping mall, an international bazaar operated by traders from around the globe. Attached to it is a massive casino called the financial system in which the profits from the bazaar are wagered on increasingly high stakes bets. It has become so unstable that the landlord, the Federal Reserve and central government, has to keep stepping in to keep everyone afloat. It is a high tech, high stakes palace economy.

This is very profitable for the nation’s rich people, which get to enjoy luxury unimaginable just a couple generations ago. Even Louis XIV could not have rode out a pandemic aboard his floating castle. Meanwhile, the cost of such luxury will be his fellow citizens (does he consider them his fellow citizens?) lining up for miles to get food distributed by the local food bank. The price of such profit in terms of risk and inequality is simply too high to tolerate much longer.

In times of want, people are forced to think hard about their priorities. The same is true of a people facing a crisis. The Great Madness over the plague is going to send the economy into a depression. The West in general, but America in particular, is going to have to decide if the cost of profit, the cost of this high stakes casino economy, is truly worth it. Is this how we want to live?  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?

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The Great Madness

Has the world gone mad? It certainly seems that way to some of us. Even the most cynical never imagined the government shutting down the country for fear of a virus, but it has suddenly become the new normal. The cynical, if they thought of it at all, would have thought the opposite. Instead of a great lock down, the response would have been for the beautiful people to insulate themselves from harm, while abandoning the rest of us to the plague. Instead, we have all gone mad together.

Not everyone has got the fever, that is this panic fever, not the one caused by the Chinese coronavirus. Our world is now firmly divided into two camps. There are those fully invested in the great panic over the virus and there are those who look at the other camp, gobsmacked by what appears to be a general madness. Those in panic look at the rest of us the same way preppers look at normal people. They just assume the gods will strike us down for doubting the virus

Of course, the people in the skeptic camp could be the ones suffering from some form of madness that prevents them from seeing the threat. The trouble is, the great plague is not exactly lighting up the scoreboard. America has tested over 600,000 people suspected of having the virus. Over 500,000 tested negative. Of the positives, 12,000 needed hospital care. In a country of over 320 million people with 200,000 empty hospital beds at any one time, that’s not much of a crisis.

Yet, despite the numbers, formerly sober-minded people continue to carry on as if there are bodies in the streets. Steve Sailer, a man not known for excitability, is calling this virus a great adversary of the human race. Greg Cochran has completely lost his marbles over this thing. Geneticist and HBD enthusiast Razib Khan is in hiding, convinced the end times are upon us. In fact, the whole HBD community is a click away from fleeing to Antarctica to wait out the end of civilization.

Of course, part of the panic, a symptom of that particular virus, is a set of abracadabra phrases that have become so common they seem like something from a secret society, understood only by the initiates. The duller sorts chant about “exponential growth” while others talk about “the hospitals being overwhelmed.” That’s why we have to “flatten the curve” and “slow the spread.” These incantations are to chase away doubt and reinforce the belief that people are dying in the streets.

The dying in the streets bit is not much of an exaggeration. A popular bit of folklore now among the panicked is some version of the anonymous ER doctor or nurse relaying how they are overwhelmed and letting people die in the hallways. This urban legend turned up in China, Washington, Italy, New York and now New Orleans. Formerly sensible people now pass these whoppers around on-line, never bothering to think that maybe they are being fed a just-so story by people seeking attention.

One emerging aspect to the madness is the moral dimension. The HBD crowd seems to have been hardest hit. They spend a lot of time contemplating nature and their fellow man’s refusal to respect it. Part of what is driving them now is a sense that nature is going to finally exact some revenge. In other words, this panic is part of a strange revenge fantasy, where they are finally vindicated by biological reality. This sudden sense of moral purpose has made them immune to reason.

Another aspect to this general panic, unrelated to the virus itself, is a different type of revenge fantasy. Many people are cheering the collapse of the economy and civil life on the mistaken belief that what emerges from the rubble will have them at the top of the social hierarchy. This is a phenomenon shared across the political spectrum. It seems to be most popular with young people unhappy with the status quo and far too caught up in purge fantasies to be reached with facts and reason.

Probably the most salient aspect to this panic is the role of women. As has been noted too many times to count, the West is now a gynocracy. It is not a matriarchy, as women have stopped bearing children and stopped caring about children. Look around and you see childless women in positions of authority all over the West. In fact, these are women who reached their status by rejecting every aspect of womanhood. The West is now a world run by middle-aged childless women.

Anyone who has been around women in a crisis has observed a strange phenomenon among childless adult females. Some switch gets flipped in a crisis where their protective instincts get misdirected at the adults in the room. This part of their nature was never allowed to mature in the raising of children, so it comes bursting forth in an incoherent desire to help when their help is not needed. They become like mother ducks loudly herding the brood to safety.

For a society run by such women, every crisis is met with demands that everyone shelter in place. Notice how over the last few decades that public officials no longer call for volunteers or tell people to pitch in and work together. Such independent action violates the frightened female’s sense of duty to her brood. Instead, mild weather events now close the schools and force people to work from home. This virus scare is every middle-aged women’s Hunger Games moment.

Mass panics are a known phenomenon. The general panic that took place in France between July 22 and August 6 1789 is known as The Great Fear. It was a period of rural unrest, driven by both a grain shortage and rumors of an aristocrats’ “famine plot” to starve the peasants. The exact reason for this panic is in dispute. Ergotism is a favorite reason for those with a certain sense of humor, but most historians consider it one of the primary causes of the French Revolution.

At some point, the bloom comes off this lock-down rose once people start to feel the real cost of listening to madmen. People will remember that the same folks who swore Boris and Natasha had used their mind control devise to install Trump in the White House are the many of the same people peddling this panic. Necessity will force a lot of people to stop going along with what they have suspected from the start is nothing more than a mass panic. Soon, this all comes to an end.

Like the Great Fear, the Great Madness will leave a mark, or at least it should leave a mark on our society. You never can be sure about these things, as the West seems to be unusually immune to learning from these events. Two centuries ago The Great Fear meant the end of the feudal order and eventually a revolution. It was not the sole cause of the revolution, maybe not the main cause. It was certainly an example of how the old order was no longer able to maintain order.

It is too soon to know what this panic means for us. Perhaps it further undermines the legitimacy of the system and the people that profit from it. Perhaps it sets off social changes that slowly transform our society in ways we have yet to imagine. Maybe the fever breaks and this event, like the Russian hoax, gets forgotten. Given what most likely awaits on the other side of the lock-down, it is hard to imagine this great madness being forgotten. There’s always a price to be paid for following madmen.

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The Magic Box

Anyone who works in the right answer fields, like engineering and computer science, has run across the magic box gag. This is where someone draws up a process, describing the various inputs and sub-processes. Somewhere toward the end of the diagram is a box into which all of this stuff flows. What comes out of the box is the desired result of the entire process. That box at the end, where all the good stuff happens, is labeled something like “magical happens here.”

It is a stale gag, but a persistent one as it is a very good way to simplify a project for the people who put the magic in the box. The people who will get the magic really don’t need to know what happens inside the box. That’s not their concern. That’s the job of the technical people to solve. In fact, the whole point of the exercise is to make sure everyone shares the same understanding of all the other stuff. The users of the process must trust that the technical people put the right magic in the box.

It does not always go that way through. Even the simplest processes have peculiarities that are not appreciated until you start monkeying around with them. The combination of inputs may create conflicts that require immensely complicated solutions inside the box in order to get the desired result. It’s why after the meeting ends, the technical people erase the board and spend a lot of time figuring out exactly what form of magic will have to go into that box. Magic is not as easy at looks.

This concept is one to keep in mind when evaluating the responses to the virus panic and soon the economic consequences of it. Loads of people on both sides of the great divide think something momentous has happened. They see the flood of changes that have been imposed and rightly assume that it will have a profound long term effect on the country and the West in general. They are probably right, but they disagree as to what will come out of the magic box that is this panic.

The most obvious starting place is with the people demanding we take this extreme measure to stop the virus.  As has been discussed at length here now, they fail to consider the consequences. Instead, their response is something like, “The economy is not important. That will fix itself.” In other words, something magical will happen and things will get back to normal. The magic box will not only fix all the damage done to civil life, it will restore everything back to where it was before the panic.

It’s possible that things bounce back to where they were to start the year. No one knows, because this has never been done. Maybe in a year this whole episode will be forgotten, like the Kavanaugh hearings or the Russia hoax. On the other hand, we could be facing a long depression. The blows to the system could be so profound they cannot magically heal themselves. Instead, things remain broken. In other words, maybe the magic in that box is bad magic, the very worst kind of magic.

That brings up another camp that is now deeply invested in the magic box. There are a lot of people on this side of the great divide that are cheering the lock down. They think it will forever discredit the things they don’t like. The consequences of globalism and the neoliberal order will flow into the hive brain of the public and what comes out the other side is a rejection of all of it. Magically, everyone will come to the conclusions many people on this side held before the panic and subsequent results.

It’s possible that some of those things Greg Johnson lists will come true. It’s also possible that none of them will happen.  People are remarkably resilient to reality, as we see with the panic. If your first response to the prospects of a pandemic are to fill your basement with toilet paper, you are unlikely to draw the best lessons from this panic and its results. The ruling class, the people who triggered this panic, are also unlikely to abandon all the things that allow them to be in power.

The point here is not to take issue with Greg or his post. Greg’s lessons are correct, but they were correct before the panic. He is assuming this sudden crisis will be the magic box that transforms everything. The last half century of history is flowing into this panic and the resulting turmoil. What will come out the other side is a great awakening, as the scales fall from the eyes of everyone wondering how they will pay their rent and feed their kids. The coronavirus panic is the magic box.

Similarly, there is a subset of this thinking that exists in fringe socialist circles, like the remnants of the old alt-right and the Bernie Sanders camp. They cheer the coming collapse, because they think the prophesies will finally come true. America will become Weimar Germany. One version of the game has Richard Spencer delivering his first speech to the new Ethno-Reichstag. The other side thinks they will finally be free to punch those Nazis that secretly control the world.

It is an interesting key value pair. Both camps think their political ideology is timeless and forever relevant. Both sides think history must repeat in the exact same way it happened 90 years ago in Europe. It’s like coordinates on a map. Because the coordinates never change, their place on the great map of human history never changes either. It’s a form of mysticism. In this case, they assume an economic collapse must magically result in conditions most favorable to them.

Again, that magic box may not contain what they imagine. The most likely result is the increased power of the tech oligarchs. They are now helping government track people, all in the name of safety, of course. A world in which drones are used to police citizens identified through their mobile phone as having stood next to the wrong person is not favorable to the revolution. You see, the people in charge have been planning for the arrival of you-know-who for a very long time as well.

In fairness, maybe the critics of the response to this virus are engaging in magic box thinking as well. To assume lots of bad things come out of the other end of the box is just as presumptuous as assuming only good things will emerge. Maybe the great reorder that will occur after this will be better for the Nazis and Bolsheviks camped out in the pumpkin patch. Maybe people will wake up to the reality of neoliberal order and demand changes. Maybe things get back to normal in a hurry.

The one true thing in all of this is no one knows what is inside the box that events appear to be leading us. The panic itself is unprecedented in the modern age, so we are left to guess about what follows. What’s happening with the global financial system is less novel, but the scale is unprecedented. No one can know if the economy will spin back up, as no one has tried to turn it off and then back on. We are in the world of unknown unknowns, the part of the diagram labeled “Magic.”

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Springtime In The Pandemic

When I’m not on the road, Sunday is the day when I get my supplies and set things in order for the coming week. I like to get an early start as it means I don’t have to stand in line too long at the market. With the panic raging, lines are longer than normal, but I had some hope that people had exhausted themselves by now. Even so, I got an earlier than typical start. Apparently, I was not the only one thinking the same thing as the parking lot had many more cars than typical.

The shelves were mostly stocked, which was a relief, of sorts. I know more about the nation’s supply chain than most people, so I was not worried that we would run out of food, but it was still good to see it confirmed. Even the meat section was as full as normal and that’s the most fragile bit of the system. Items with a short shelf life tend to the least resistant to panic buying. Empty shelves are an exception in America, so seeing the stores full again will calm people’s nerves.

Having stocked up pretty well before the panic started, I just needed to top up a few things, but I took a look around the whole store just to see how people were handling things after a week playing pandemic. While picking up some skyr, I caught a bit of conversation between two women. I’d say both were in their 30’s, toward the older end, and they had the mom look. One of them was telling the other how great it was to have dinner together every night at the same time.

That will be one of the side effects of the great lock down. All of sudden, women are home and taking over their domain again. The kids are home, so they have reason to reassert their control over that part of their life. Many of these women will no doubt hate it and perform poorly, but most will be reminded that being home and running the household full-time was always their bets career option. Men will learn that having the wife home beats having a second income.

In line, I struck up a conversation with a women about this topic. The checkout has to be fumigated after each person goes through, so the lines are thirty people deep as we wait for our turn in the delousing station. The woman is in finance, so she can work from home. She has kids at home now, so she’s happy work has slowed up with the great shut down. Her kids get their school assignment over Skype, but she has taken over the normal instruction they would get in class.

She told me that she and the other moms are now talking about putting together their own community home schooling operation. I almost laughed out loud a few times as she explained how she and the other moms got a look at what their kids are being taught and how they can do much better. She was bit angry, for example, about the errors they found in the science books the school is using. There will be a lot of this type of stuff happening around the country because of the lock-down.

One of the unexpected consequences of this panic and the economic collapse that is now certain to follow, is people will discover the joys of want. We tend to think it is always terrible to do without, but there is an odd pleasure that comes from having to sacrifice and conserve. The mom I spoke with while waiting almost sounded giddy about the idea of simplifying the household diet in order to accommodate the shortages in the grocery stores. It will give her purpose again.

That will not just be about food. She said something about the lack of TV sports was a bit of downer, but I countered with the fact that everyone now gets to discover outside again and she lit up. No doubt she was thinking the same thing, but was happy for the confirmation. She and other moms are now taking over the fun time for their families, rather than delegating it to the entertainment business, sports leagues and the schools. Again, it will give these women purpose again.

On the other hand, we still live in a world of rule by exception. The right thing to do when someone says, “we need to normalize wearing masks in public like the Asians” is to punch them in the nose. That should have been the answer to people telling us their pronouns or their weird sexual fetishes. Instead, we committed ourselves to making one exception after another to accommodate a metastasizing number of weirdos, oddballs and trouble makers. The mask freaks will just be another.

That said, I doubt the mask thing lasts long. Americans are not going to live as if we hate everyone. Social trust has broken down, but it is not gone entirely. The reason Asians love masks is they have been practicing social distancing for 5,000 years, so the mask compliments a natural instinct. Conformity was their answer to the problem of social trust. To westerners, living such an existence will be a bridge too far, so the weirdos pushing it better enjoy their hazmat suits while they can.

Something I thought about as I was leaving is that suddenly the status hierarchy for women has changed. The mom I was chatting with was feeling really good about taking control of her household. Suddenly, the women taking care of their kids, taking over their schooling and being a stabilizing force are cool. Those career women sheltering in place with their box wine and social media account can no longer kid themselves about their real status in society.

There’s been a lot of wishful thinking about a baby boom coming from this lock-down, but what may follow is a marriage boom. Millions of single women now have no reason to exist, because they are stuck at home. They can’t cause drama at work and they can’t cruise the bars with their friends. Meanwhile, the women they made sport of at the office are having the time of her life at home with the family. There’s some chance this panic opens some pretty young eyes to the reality of their existence.

On the way out, I stopped at a light and noticed that the trees are all starting to turn green and the flowering trees are about to go into peak bloom. Persephone is making her way up from the underworld and all of creation celebrates.The cycle of life is immutable, which means that all things come to end, even plagues. It also means they are replaced by something new. A lot of bad things will come from the great lock-down, but on the other side will be some good things too.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

Drama In The Time Of Corona

First, I want to thank my family for being with me through all of this. I could not get through this without them. This has been a trying time for all of us. I’m here today to announce that I have tested positive for the coronavirus. I’m coming forward in the hope that I will continue to inspire people suffering from this horrible burden to keep bravely fighting and dreaming. I also hope this will help break the stigma white men have attached to this condition and the sufferers of it…

That is a little taste of what will no doubt be a feature of our lives in the coming week, as famous people take turns staring in their own corona drama. It has already started a bit, with people like Tom Hanks and others announcing they have tested COV-positive, but the flood gates will surely open once we run out of hoarding stories. You can be sure that musical performers are plotting some sort of corona-aid performance, perhaps done on-line, to draw attention to themselves.

We live in an age in which everything is a performance. Not just any performance, of course, but a morality tale. The “famous person making the dramatic announcement to the public” version is pretty common. Twenty years ago, famous homosexuals would have dramatic coming out ceremonies. Some would make a drama of announcing they got the AIDS. The point of the performance is for the actor to get both sympathy and admiration for being a heroic victim, bravely fighting on.

Our politicians got in on the act in a serious way back during the Exploding Mohammad pandemic of the last decade. Whenever a random Mohamed would detonate in a public place, the politicians would organize a public piety festival. They would lock arms and march around symbolizing unity. Maybe there would be a candlelight vigil. The candle makers really boomed in the exploding Mohamed times. The media would show a few cute white girls crying and hugging at the event.

Ceremony and ritual, of course, are essential elements of every human society, even the most primitive ones. The point is to reinforce and refresh the shared reality we call our common culture. Ceremony reminds us of the rules that define us as a people and the ritual ties us to the history that made those rules. The point of them, often the explicit point, is to strengthen the rules that not only bind the people to one another, but legitimize the social order and the people at the top of it.

Those dramatic arm-locking displays by politicians after a Mohamed exploded were about making sure no one questioned the people in charge and the logic of importing these exploding Mohameds. Similarly, the celebrity announcing that they are the victim of something, real or imaginary, is about social signaling. The celebrity is free-riding on some trend in order to bolster their status as a famous person. They are a good person and deserve to be rich, famous and influential.

We are seeing a version of this as local officials compete with one another to see who can impose the most outlandish conditions on people. First someone banned public events, which led to everyone doing it. Then it was public gatherings, even private ones, then the forced closure of retail establishments. Now you have this loon banning gun and alcohol sales. Not to be outdone, San Francisco is banning people from leaving their homes. The city’s bum population is exempted, of course.

The people doing this put on their best concern face and bravely march to the nearest bank of cameras to perform their serious act. You see, they really don’t want to do this and they regret having to make such a big deal of it. It’s just that events have forced them to bravely impose a huge cost on others so they can get some public adulation and the dopamine rush that comes from it. You haters out there snickering are just running dog lackeys of the coronavirus!

Of course, the reason we have a panic right now is the politicians have been influenced by the expert drama queens. These are the people who play experts on cable chat shows and internet sites. They come up with impressive looking claims about how this will be an unprecedented plague, not seen in human history. Never mind that these people have been wrong about everything in the past. We don’t have time for that. The world is at risk unless we act now! The crowd cheers and the curtain closes.

If the lunatics in charge do manage to pull the roof down on civilization this time, it will be a fitting final act to our Dionysian age. Politics is always about morality, but in a democracy, it is a never-ending morality play. The various actors appeal to our emotions, rather than our reason or even our self-interest. The winner is the one who gets the loudest applause. That always comes from wringing as much emotion from the crowd as possible. The good pol always leaves them in tears.

Compounding it, we live in an age of plenty. Well, we used to. The post-scarcity age removes the obvious reasons for having a ruling class. That means the people in charge, especially the petty tyrants of local government, must always find reasons to remind the public that they are still needed. That means manufacturing crisis and drama. Every change in the weather is now anthropomorphized. Light rains storm Harvey now requires schools to close and people to shelter in place.

That’s what we are seeing with the corona show. Public officials and their suddenly famous science people are performing their role in a live action role playing game called pandemic. Instead of having a paintball retreat, the ruling class is forcing the rest of us to skip work and hoard toilet paper. They get to feel like heroes, while the rest of us wonder if we will be standing in bread lines next month. Rest assured though; our nations actors will be okay. They are brave and concerned.

Part of what makes this work is that some portion of the public is willing to play the role of concern troll, the usher that tells members of the audience to behave. When someone points out the idiocy of a curfew in San Francisco, a city with tens of thousands of bums crapping in the streets, there is someone in the crowd to lecture him about the seriousness of the situation. Over the next weeks, everyone will be hectored by these idiots on social media and in their daily lives.

In the end, something that has been obvious for a long time, but is now becoming quite clear, is that this process ends with a real crisis. The final act leads to a real threat to society and the real need for competent leaders. If they do manage to crash the system this time, public tolerance for girl politicians suddenly drops to zero. Everyone suddenly figures out what things really cost and the price of the public drama queen makes them a prohibitive leisure item in a time of want.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

The Time Of The Golden Agers

Major social events are often a lot like moving furniture around the house. Moving the bookcase from one side of the room to the other is a mundane task. What you find behind it, however, can be quite interesting. Sometimes you find something you searched high and low for at some point. Other times you find something that you never knew was missing. Maybe just moving things around a bit gives you a new perspective on your living space that leads to other changes in your environment.

That’s how big social events feel sometimes. The event itself is not as important as what it reveals. Maybe you find out your neighbor is a bit of kook, who quietly has been stocking the basement with dried food and ammunition. Maybe we learn that the local government is more useless than anyone imagined possible. The Chinese pandemic is one of those events that will be more important for what it reveals than for the impact of the virus itself, unless you die from it, of course.

For example, we are getting a glimpse of what the great Baby Boomer retirement is going to look like in the coming decade. If we execute all of the people, who like debating the precise dates of generational divisions, we can agree that the cohort in question is roughly those who came of age in the late 1960’s and the late 1970’s. Two waves of the post-war baby boom. Right now, the number of elderly people grows by an average of 2.8 percent annually. It will peak at about 80 million.

For as long as anyone reading this has been alive, Baby Boomers have driven American politics. In the 80’s, they wanted to make money, so we financialized the economy and gave everyone a 401K. In the 1990’s, better schools were all the rage then better access to college. Health care became an issue, first because Boomer parents were getting old then when the Boomers themselves got old. Cheap health insurance was the most important political issue until now.

Notice that Bernie Sanders promising free health care got no senior support. The reason is seniors have Medicare. Blacks have Medicaid. The only people who care about health insurance premiums are younger white people and no one cares about them anymore. In fact, Bernie’s Medicare for all probably scared the crap out of older people, who rightly assumed it would mean longer lines for them. Worse yet, it could mean taxing their retirement to pay for it.

This brings us back to the Chinese Flu. Otherwise sensible people like Greg Cochran and Steve Sailer are clanging the bell, trying to get people to declare a war on the Covid19 virus. What they are suggesting, short of some miracle cure or a vaccine, would require rearranging American society. It would need rounds of universal testing, mass quarantines and testing of every human crossing the border. North America would have to become something like North Korea, in terms of travel restrictions.

Keep in mind that polio is still around, despite generations of eradication efforts. We have vaccines for a lot of nasty viruses. For the most part, these have been eradicated in the West, but they still exist in the world. If stop vaccinating people, those viruses will reemerge in the West, which is why we remain vigilant. We have no vaccine for the Chinese Flu and no one is sure we can get one. In other words, eradicating this virus, without vaccine, will require a massive reorganization of society.

What we’re seeing is the first glimpse of what democracy looks like when 20% of the population is elderly. Baby Boomers have always voted for stuff they want and soon, they will want to be insulated from the dangers of old age. If it requires us to turn America into a hermit kingdom in order to prevent a Boomer Pox from getting loose, then that’s the price the younger generation must pay. The salient political issue of this decade will be how best to guard the old coots from the Grim Reaper.

Now, this is the part where angry oldsters stop reading and post a comment about how not all Boomers are like that. This is true. In fact, it is plausible that no Boomers are willing to crater society to get a few extra days. This is a variation on the Simpson’s paradox. That is, this trend is uncommon in small groups or individuals, but appears when looking at the cohort as a whole. This turned up with education, abortion and health care. The data says Boomers collectively vote their interest.

Now, there is another angle to this. The sorts of collective action proposed by people like Steve Sailer and Greg Cochran can only happen in a cohesive, high-trust country with lots of social capital. The sorts of communities where people like Cochran and Sailer grew up had those qualities. Modern America, in contrast, is a multicultural amalgamation of low-trust clusters. The store of social capital has been burned up a long time ago in order to have cheap stuff.

This raises the question as to whether this cohort will suddenly have a come to Jesus moment over demographics. Most of those Trump voters in comfort fit slacks, carrying over-sized constitutions to the rally, think we can get back to the way things were when they were kids. If you dispute this, look at the comment section of Breitbart or Conservative Treehouse. For those people, it is always 1985.

What happens when they find out that ain’t happening? Will it make any difference if the oldsters finally see their interest are threatened by the great brown wave that is washing over America? We’ll soon find out. This panic, and that what we are seeing, will change things far more than the virus. We’re about to learn just how much social capital is left and the answer is probably not going to be encouraging.

The fact is, all the snarky comments about the Boomers and the irreverent mocking of the Zoomers is not changing the reality on the ground. America has operated like a young country for a long time. It still does in many ways. It is an old country now, a country run by old people just coming to terms with their mortality. The psychological revolution in American culture that is upon us will make the past decade seem like golden age. Instead, it will be the prelude to the time of the Golden Agers.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

The Nitwits Of The ‘Narcissus’

It has long been known that certain types of jobs and professions attract certain personality types. The entertainment business attracts shallow people, who crave attention and adulation. Cops tend to be belligerent bullies. It does not mean all entertainers are shallow airheads or that all cops are jerks, just that these fields tend to attract those types. In fact, shallow airheads and belligerent bullies may have some advantages in these fields over average people.

Modern mass democracy seems to attract a certain personality type as well. The person we tend to see in politics and the associated media, large and small, is someone, who takes great pleasure in admiring himself. His vanity is not rooted in accomplishment or even proven skill, but rather in an idealized version of himself, which is often quite different from his actual self. The world of mass democracy, especially the media, is a world dominated by narcissistic nitwits.

Just look at some of the people that were in the Democratic primary field. Pete Buttigieg is a man of no accomplishments. In fact, given all the advantages he has had compared to most people, he has been a failure. Yet, he spent a year sashaying around the country, carrying on like he was doing the world a favor. Think about the level of self-regard it takes for a small-town mayor to think he can be President. You have to like yourself a whole lot to do what he did this last year.

The political media is where this is most obvious. David French is a great example of the narcissistic nitwit. The only reason to notice him at all is due his many idiotic things he has posted on-line over the last decade. Tucker Carlson called him a buffoon and “one of the least impressive people he has met.” Carlson is in showbiz now, which means he is around feckless airheads all day. That means he ranks French below the bubbly weather girls and the addle minded jocks he meets.

French is a pretty good example of what has come to dominate the world of non-profit conservatism over the last couple of decades. This is guy, who exaggerates his own trivial accomplishments and spends an enormous amount of time telling the world about his wonderfulness. He is a moral nullity that spends his time on line lecturing us about the moral failings of public figures. How is it possible for such a nothing person to have so much self-regard? It should be impossible.

Another good example of the narcissistic nitwit is Tom Nichols. That would be “Five Time Jeopardy Champion” Tom Nichols for you commoners. He is fond of telling everyone he meets that he is really good at remembering pointless trivia. He is also fond of being wrong about everything, but carrying on as if he is an expert on everything. He is, of course, always disappointed in the rest of us. So much so he writes long essays explaining why the world does not deserve Tom Nichols.

The thing is, guys like David French and Tom Nichols are not unusual. The political media is full of people posing in front of empty trophy cases, grinning like they are the champions of everything. Their careers are a mix of pointless credentials, timely obsequiousness and idiotic public pronouncements. Yet, they strut around as if they are doing the rest of us a favor by remaining on the planet. The gap between self-perception and reality is breath taking.

It is not just the mainstream either. Mass media, especially low-barrier to entry stuff like video streaming, has loaded minor politics with narcissists too. Look at the e-celebs that have become a staple of the dissident scene. Many are dumb girls, who flash their boobs on camera, but there are plenty of men that think they are Tom Nichols. Think about some of the fringe people, who have been born on third base, but ended up on first base, yet carry on as if they are world changing figures in history.

Again, it is not the self-regard. Lots of men are cocky, especially when young, thinking they are all that and a bag of chips. It’s a form of peacocking. Women, of course, naturally seek attention. The difference between normal vanity and what we see with these narcissistic nitwits is the massive gap between their self-perception and the reality of their resumes. They are so delusional that they may as well be imagining themselves to be entirely different people. Their life is a larp.

Now, the most likely explanation for this is mass media. Nowhere has mass media had a greater impact than politics. Turning it into a game of attention seeking, like the entertainment rackets, means it will attract the attention seekers. That’s certainly true, as politics at all levels has been turned into entertainment. Politics, especially fringe politics, is as much of a hobby as a real effort to change things. The general lack of seriousness means the un-serious can run wild.

That said, this seems to be a feature of modern democracy. Since the game is winning the crowd, at any cost, people willing to do anything, even humiliate themselves, to win the crowd become major figures. Two types of people are willing to humiliate themselves for the pleasure of others: those with no self-regard and those with infinite self-regard. The former has no pride and the latter has no shame. Shameless is the word that best describes people like David French.

There have been many technical explanations for why democracy is a system that eventually destroys itself. Those explanations are sound, but one reason seldom mentioned is that democracy selects for the worst people. You cannot run anything with feckless airheads and narcissistic nitwits. That’s democracy though. It elevates the vain and stupid into positions of authority. It elevates narcissism and boasting over prudence and caution. It makes the people reckless and stupid.

There is another aspect to this that helps explain the dominance of narcissistic nitwits in modern liberal democracy. Empathy and compassion are rooted in self-interest. When done so publicly, they become a form of status seeking. The narcissist is bets equipped to display what appears to be a heightened sensitivity to suffering of others. They are willing to rend their garments and sob in public on behalf of everyone. They put on a great show, that allows the public to vicariously empathize with the suffering of man.

Self-preservation is the natural limit on compassion. In a healthy society, this limit scales up to be the limit tolerable to maintain social order and continuity. Democracy not only unleashes the narcissistic nitwits; it crumbles the limits on compassion that these narcissists feed on like maggots. Democracy murders itself not just because of the low-quality people it attracts, but because it indulges in limitless compassion to the point where it can no longer defend itself.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!